Board of Trustees approves tuition increase, construction projects

The Board of Trustees approved a 2.5 percent increase in the base tuition rate for all students for the 2021-22 academic year, marking the first tuition hike for in-state students since the 2018-19 academic year

Temple's Board of Trustees held a meeting to approve the university's operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year on July 6. | SCREENSHOT / ZOOM

Temple University’s Board of Trustees approved the university’s operating budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which includes a 2.5 percent increase in the base tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students, at its meeting Tuesday afternoon. 

The tuition hike is the first increase for in-state students since the 2018-19 academic year, according to a university press release.

Temple decreased its overall budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year by 3 percent, according to the press release. The university will shrink its budget size by reducing its expenditures in areas like auxiliary enterprises, financial aid and energy to offset the expected decrease in revenue from sources like housing and meal plans, according to the budget.

The university will allocate approximately $100 million, or 18.5 percent, of undergraduate revenue towards financial aid, according to the release. The university will also distribute $69 million of its federal stimulus money to students. 

Board of Trustees chairman Mitchell Morgan began the meeting by welcoming resident, Jason Wingard, who officially began his term as the university’s 12th president on July 1, The Temple News reported.

Former President Richard Englert also welcomed Wingard by detailing Temple’s recent accomplishments, like increased graduation rates, scholarship winners and levels of expenditures for research projects.

Here’s what else happened at Tuesday’s meeting: 

Budget and Finances

Temple expects to have 1,400 fewer undergraduate students during the 2021-22 academic year because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in the number of students graduating in only four years.

Temple differentiates the cost of tuition at each of its schools and colleges, meaning the tuition rate for each of the university’s schools and colleges slightly varies. Besides approving the 2.5 percent increase in the base tuition rate, the Board will move forward with implementing the previously approved differential tuition rates for each school and college. 

The tuition rates for Temple’s professional schools will be adjusted based on market conditions and the comparative tuition rates of similar institutions. 

The Board also approved Temple University Health System’s budget proposal for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The trustees also approved a resolution to set the percentage of the university’s asset value that will be treated as income. The university is required by state law to determine the percentage of its asset value treated as income annually. 

Alumni Relations and Development

Trustees approved a fund in the College of Liberal Arts’ Jewish Studies program that will support research, publications, curriculum, scholarship, programs and events focused on Jewish faith, culture, history and identity.

The Board voted to convert three loan funds into scholarship funds based on a recommendation from the Office of Institutional Advancement. The three affected funds are the Stephen E. Stevens Loan Fund and Dr. Marks Loan Fund in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and the Clayton W. Conklin Fund in the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry. 

Within the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, the trustees voted to transfer three funds to the new Department of Biomedical Education & Data Science. The school will also rename two of the funds and allow money from the third, the Troyer Endowment, to support general department expenditures, not just for the anatomy program. 

Facilities and Construction

The Board approved a $5.9 million proposal to replace the existing air conditioning system in the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry. 

Trustees authorized a $2.3 million proposal to dismantle and replace the Liacouras Center’s current scoreboard along with renovations to the scoreboard’s control room and arena audio system. 

The Board also approved a $2 million proposal to begin a two-year renovation of 17 restrooms in Weiss Hall for the first time since the building was constructed in 1973. The project will affect the lower level, third and tenth floors of the building.

Trustees allocated an additional $1 million toward designing plans to renovate the Bio-Life Sciences building, bringing the total cost of the project so far to $2 million. The designs will upgrade the public areas on the building’s lower and second floors, including entrances, common spaces and restrooms. 

Officer Reports

The Board approved a recommendation from Ken Kaiser, the university’s vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, that grants and contracts awarded between Jan. 1 and March 31 be received. 

Additionally, the Board voted for approved candidates for graduation in the Tsinghua LLM Program in Beijing, China receive their degrees dated Oct. 30. 

Faculty Senate and TSG Remarks 

Faculty Senate president Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, a theatre professor, addressed the Board for the first time since beginning her term. She welcomed Wingard and relayed the faculty’s excitement for the upcoming year. 

“We are excited about the new year and being an integral part of the new strategic planning process, recognizing the Temple faculty are valuable members of the Temple University enterprise too,” Williams-Witherspoon said. 

Student Body President Bradley Smutek, a senior history major, also addressed the Board and encouraged students to get vaccinated and upload their vaccine to the Student Health Portal so the Temple community can return to campus as planned, he said. 

Smutek also shared Temple Student Government’s recent work, thanked Englert for his work during his time as university president and welcomed Wingard. 

“We look forward to seeing the great work that Dr. Wingard will do and the new heights our university will reach,” Smutek said.

Correction: This story has been updated to remove details regarding a gift fund that was prematurely approved at the Board of Trustees meeting.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.